Microsoft Office Automator Actions

Function: Over 80 Actions for Microsoft Office.
Author: Custom Flow Solutions
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PackRat Automates Backback

Backpack from 37Signals is a great PIM, I use it myself. infiniteNIL has released PackRat 1.1, a desktop client to manage your Backpack data when you’re offline. This new version includes Applescript support and a handy Automator action, Synchronize with Backpack, allowing you to schedule synchronization when you’re back on the grid. (via MacMinute).

Hints & Tips

Creating a Text File…With Automator!

Systems Boy has posted a few Automator workflows that achieve the dork-meme of the week, creating text files via the contextual menu. I’m not sure why this is all the rage, but far be it from me not to get on the band wagon. It is certainly a handy function for the obsessive text-file-creating types (via Daring Fireball).


Speaking of Apple TV…

It would appear that the obligatory first-week hacking of the Apple TV has revealed that it does, of course, run OS X (albeit stripped down to the skivvies). Interestingly, the site TechRestore notes that the Apple TV version of OS X contains a number of custom Automator actions, including New Audio Capture and New Video Capture.


Workflow Converts Video for Apple TV

The Vallery Family website (don’t they sound like a 70s singing group?) has a good write up on using Automator to convert files for the slick new Apple TV. According to the site, the workflow is “a simple drop folder on my desktop that launches quicktime pro and converts the file to an Apple TV viewable format, imports the file into iTunes, and cleans up after itself.”


Power Manager 3.6 Automates Energy Savings

DssW has announced the launch of Power Manager 3.6 for Mac OS X. Power Manager 3.6 helps schools, businesses, and homes save energy by automating their Macs.

Power Manager 3.6 includes new Automator actions to cancel, delay, and Quick Schedule events; start and stop the scheduler; get the next pending event; and filter events by name, type, or action.

Power Manager is EU20, and a free 30 day demo is also available.


Mac OS X 10.4.9 Fixes Minor Automator Bug

According to the release notes, the Mac OS X 10.4.9 updater “Addresses an issue in which incorrect encoding could be used for the files created by the New Text File Automator action on Intel-based Macs.”

So for those of you with Intel Macs who use the New Text File action and are having encoding errors, your prayers have been answered!


John C. Welch Hearts Automator

John C. Welch over at InformationWeek has written up a 2-part article, Top 22 Mac OS X Products. Coming in at #15 is Applescript, to which Welch says:

“Long considered a hidden jewel in Apple’s crown, AppleScript is enjoying yet another renaissance thanks to Automator, a rather nice GUI drag and drop UI for automation languages. While you can create Automator actions in many languages, AppleScript is the one that gives you the most access to not just Mac OS X, but also the applications on the Mac.”

Hints & Tips

Auto-Detect Mounted Volumes

Helping set up for the AUPN launch party this weekend, I needed to load files onto 100 USB flash drives for the obligatory swag bag. To churn through it efficiently, we had an Automator workflow copy the files onto the drives. All I had to do was insert a drive, double-click the workflow app, wait until it copied the files and unmounted the drive, then unplug the drive.

After doing this a few times, it seemed silly having to manually run the workflow; I wanted it to run automatically when a drive was plugged in. Fortunately, the solution came to me in a flash (pun absolutely intended). More »

Site News

Automator World to Provide Exclusive Content for AUPN

apn_logo.pngAutomator World is pleased to announce a partnership with the newly launched Aperture Users Professional Network (AUPN) to provide exclusive content for its website.

AUPN is a professional designed to help sharpen one’s photographic skills and to improve the experience of working with Apple’s Aperture software. Automator World will provide the site with original articles and blog posts, along with sharing materials available at Automator World.

We’re excited about teaming up with the AUPN. They have some great programs in place, and our content will benefit both of our sites, as well as photographers who use Aperture worldwide. The first article, a two-part overview of Automator, is now available. Check it out!


TECSoft Announces “Automator Workshop” Hands-on Training Classes

TECSoft announced today its new Automator Workshop hands-on training classes. The one-day hands-on training teaches participants how to quickly be productive with Automator, and builds upon TECSoft’s extensive workflow automation and training expertise.

Participants complete hands-on exercises building powerful, real-world Automator workflows and receive Workshop Kits containing a printed Workshop Guide, along with a CD full of useful Automator actions and resources, including an eBook copy of Hanaan Rosenthal’s outstanding Discovering Automator.

For more information and to register call 800-626-4119/631-267-0700, or visit the website.

Hints & Tips

Auto-add MP3s in a folder to an iTunes playlist

From Mac OS X Hints: “If you’d like to automatically get songs from MP3 blogs (to discover new music without pain), and you’d like to automatically add those songs to a pre-defined playlist in iTunes when the download ends (so you have just to fire up iTunes and click Play), well, this tip is the right solution for you.”

This is a nifty hack that uses Automator, Growl, and any number of downloading tools to add songs off the internet into iTunes.


Automator Multi-Item Processing Utility

Ben Waldie of Automated Workflows, LLC has written a handy freeware application, Automator Multi-Item Processing Utility. This drag-and-drop app converts Automator Workflow applications to AppleScript-based applications that can process dropped files individually, rather than as a single batch.

Waldie will also be at next week’s MacWorld Expo, booth S1538-34 in the Developer Pavilion.


Hazel Simplifies Folder Actions

One of the most powerful–and confusing–uses of Automator is creating workflows in conjunction with Folder Actions. The myriad ways to trigger, turn on and attach scripts to folders is daunting and un-intuitive, to put it kindly. More »


Apple Appends Aperture Automator Actions

Apple’s freshly released Aperture 1.5 has a slew of new features, bringing a much-needed maturity to the (nearly) year-old application. According to the “What’s New” page, Aperture 1.5 “takes advantage of enhanced AppleScript and Automator support: operate on image selections (in addition to projects and albums); filter for the “pick” of each stack; automate the export of master files with associated XMP metadata.”